International Relations Courses

Please find below a list of graduate courses in International Relations offered by current faculty since the Autumn 2000 quarter.

32400. World Politics in the Nineteenth Century: A History. The course provides an overview of major developments in 19th century history: wars, revolutions, diplomacy, economic development, imperial expansion, and international trade and investment. The course covers key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory. Besides diplomatic relations among the Great Powers, the course examines long-term trends in economic development and military force. Specific topics include the settlement after the Napoleonic Wars, the failed revolutions of 1848-49, European imperialism, the industrial revolution, and the origins of World War I. C. Lipson

32500. World Politics in the 20th Century, 1914-1945: A History. This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, the maintenance of European empires, diplomatic alignments and alliances, arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. It surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the first half of the 20th century (the period from the outset of World War I to the end of World War II). It deals with key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory, including long-term trends in diplomacy, economic development, and military force. C. Lipson

32600. World Politics in the 20th Century, 1945-1991: A History. This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, imperial retreat, diplomatic alignments and alliances, arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. It surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the latter half of the 20th century. It focuses on the Cold War and the development of an integrated world economy under U.S. leadership. It deals with key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory, including long-term trends in diplomacy, economic development, and military force. C. Lipson

36100. Civil War. Civil war is the dominant form of political violence in the contemporary world. This graduate seminar will introduce students to cutting edge scholarly work and to the task of carrying out research on internal conflict. We will study the origins, dynamics, and termination of civil wars, as well as international interventions, post-conflict legacies, and policy responses to war. A variety of research approaches will be explored, including qualitative, quantitative, and interpretive methods, micro- and macro-level levels of analysis, and sub- and cross-national comparative designs. Our emphasis throughout will be on designing rigorous research that persuasively addresses important questions. P. Staniland

37600. War and the Nation-State. The aim of this course is to examine the phenomenon of war in its broader socio-economic context during the years between the emergence of the modern nation-state and the end of World War II. J. Mearsheimer

39800. Introduction to International Relations. This course introduces the main themes in international relations, including the problems of war and peace, conflict and cooperation. The course begins by considering some basic theoretical tools used to study international politics. It then focuses on several prominent security issues in modern international relations, such as the Cold War and post-Cold War world, nuclear weapons, arms control, and nationalism. The last part of the course deals with economic aspects of international relations. It concentrates on issues where politics and economics are closely intertwined: world trade, foreign investment, environmental pollution, and European unification. C. Lipson

39900. Strategy. This course is about American national security policy in the post-Cold War world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. The course is structured in five parts around the question of how American nuclear and conventional strategy should adapt to an increasingly multipolar world. The first component examines the key changes in strategic environment since 1990. The second looks at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals, such as off-shore balancing, spreading democracy, and isolationism. The third block focuses on nuclear strategy, using debates on nuclear strategy and the utility of nuclear threats as tools to examine the problems of deterring major and minor nuclear powers. The fourth section is about conventional strategy, covering conventional deterrence and coercion theory, the use of coercive air power in Vietnam and Iraq, and the problems of intervention in ethnic conflict. The last block discusses the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim. R. Pape

39900. Strategy. This course is about American national security policy in the post-Cold War world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. The course is structured in five parts. The first component examines the key changes in strategic environment since 1990. The second looks at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals. The third block focuses on nuclear strategy. The fourth section is about conventional strategy. The last block discusses the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim. R. Pape

40600. Seminar on International Relations Theory. The end of the Cold War ushered in a new set of debates about how to study international politics. This course is an introduction to some of those important theoretical approaches and is organized around debate among realism, liberalism, and constructivism and their variants. Seminar discussion will identify and criticize the central arguments advanced by different scholars in order to assess the relative merits of different theoretical perspectives. R. Pape

41200. Terrorism. This course examines the causes, conduct, and consequences of terrorism, with special emphasis on suicide terrorism. The course takes a building-block approach. It begins with competing theories about the causes of terrorism, then examines prominent cases, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda, and ends with a series of student research days focusing on important topics, such as those covered in the course as well as on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the IRA, the Assassins, and other cases. R. Pape

41201. Militaries in Politics.This seminar studies how militaries shape political life. Though often ignored in favor of political parties, economic inequality and class coalitions, and legislatures, militaries are pivotal political actors in much of the world. Their ability to engage in large-scale organized violence makes them powerful allies and dangerous foes for civilian elites and mass publics. This course studies the internal and external politics of militaries. We will examine a variety of topics, including coups and withdrawals, counterinsurgency and countersubversion, foreign policy, organizational politics and socialization, military rule, the coercive politics of state formation, and the remarkable variety of civil-military relationships (from collusion to conflict). The focus will be on the developing world but we will also cover classic cases of military politics in Europe and the United States. We will also compare militaries to other forms of armed organization, particularly police, militias, paramilitaries, mercenaries, and insurgents. This course draws on numerous disciplines, sub-fields, and methods, and requires a major research paper. P. Staniland

41500. Nationalism in the Age of Globalization. Nationalism has been the most powerful political ideology in the world for the past two centuries. This course examines its future in the age of globalization, focusing in particular on the widespread belief that it is a outmoded ideology. Specific topics covered in the course include: the causes of nationalism, its effects on international stability, nationalism and empires, globalization and the future of the state, globalization and national identities, the clash of civilizations, American nationalism, and the clash between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. J. Mearsheimer

42700. Politics of Unipolarity. R. Pape

46000. Sources of International Relations. This course in international relations theory builds on students' prior graduate training to explore four distinct but overlapping sources of international order: coercion, norms, institutions, and contractual bargains. Students will discuss and critique existing literature in all four areas and write a major paper. The course presumes students have had some prior coursework at the graduate level in international relations theory, security studies, or international political economy. C. Lipson

49500. American Grand Strategy. This course examines the evolution of American grand strategy since 1900, when the United States first emerged on the world stage as a great power. The focus is on assessing how its leaders have thought over time about which areas of the world are worth fighting and dying for, when it is necessary to fight in those strategically important areas, and what kinds of military forces are needed for deterrence and war-fighting in those regions. J. Mearsheimer

53000. Seminar on Great Power Politics. The specific aim of this course is to introduce students to some of the key policy issues involving the great powers that dominate the post-Cold War world. Three topics will receive special emphasis: European security, Asian security, and the role of the United States in the larger world after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is expected that all students in the class will be well-versed in international relations theory, and will bring their theoretical insights to bear on the relevant policy issues. The broad goal is to encourage students to appreciate that international relations theory and important policy issues are inextricably linked to each other. J. Mearsheimer